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Chinese student given 9-month prison sentence for harassment

25/4/2024 6:10
        A former Berklee College of Music student from China was sentenced Wednesday to nine months in prison for stalking and threatening a person who posted a flyer in support of democracy in the Asian country, authorities said.
        
        The leaflet that was posted on the campus in Boston on Oct. 22 read, "Stand with Chinese People," along with other statements such as "We Want Freedom" and "We Want Democracy," the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston said.
        
        In response, Xiaolei Wu, 26, threatened to chop off the person’s hands, reported their family to China’s public security agency, asked others to find out where the person was living and publicly posted their email address, prosecutors said.
        
        "Mr. Wu’s criminal conduct is very serious. He harnessed the fear of potential retribution from the PRC government to harass and threaten an innocent individual who had posted an innocuous, pro-democracy flier on the Berklee campus," acting U.S. Attorney Joshua Levy said in a statement. "Mr. Wu’s violent threats achieved his goal of instilling fear in his effort to silence this brave victim and others who might want to speak out against the PRC government."
        
        The person who posted the flyer is a U.S. permanent resident originally from China who has family members still living there, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
        
        Wu was convicted in January of one count of stalking and one count of interstate transmissions of threatening communication. Along with the nine-month prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Denise Casper sentenced him to three years of supervised release.
        
        Wu’s lawyer did not respond to an email requesting comment.
        
        "Today, Xiaolei Wu learned there are serious consequences for harassing, threatening, stalking, and infringing on a fellow student’s constitutional rights solely because she was critical of the ruling Communist Party of China," Jodi Cohen, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston Division, said in a statement. "What Mr. Wu did - in weaponizing the authoritarian nature of the People’s Republic of China to threaten this woman - is incredibly disturbing."
        
        
        



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